Unsupervised? Texas mom goes to jail for letting kids play outside

Published: Friday, Sept. 21 2012 10:29 a.m. MDT

The incident adds fuel to an already hot debate over how much is too much when it comes to watching over kids and when and how children should be allowed to play without parental oversight.

Shutterstock.com

Enlarge photo»

Stay-at-home mom Tammy Cooper is suing authorities after she was arrested and jailed when a neighbor complained she was allegedly letting her children play with their motorized scooters unsupervised in their cul de sac.

In a story that has sparked wide international attention, including in Australia's Herald Sun, charges against the La Porte, Texas, mom were later dropped, but not before she spent a night in jail.

Cooper was originally accused of child endangerment because of reports the children were not being supervised. Cooper maintains that she was watching the kids from a lawn chair the entire time.

The incident adds fuel to an already hot debate over how much is too much when it comes to watching over kids and when and how children should be allowed to play without parental oversight.The story's also being discussed on blogs like Cafemom's The Stir.

Wrote blogger Julie Ryan Evans, "The thing that kills me is that even if she was inside, there shouldn't have been a problem. These kids are 6 and 9 and they were in a cul de sac in front of their home. All children may not be old enough to handle such a situation, but some definitely are, and it should be a parent's right to decide if they are. My neighborhood is filled with children who do the exact same thing alone regularly."

Cooper filed the suit against the La Porte Police Department, the arresting officer and her neighbor, seeking damages, according to a report in the Huffington Post.

A Houston TV station, KPRC, quoted a response from the police, who said, "We are confident in the known actions of the responding officers. In addition, officers did contact the Harris County District Attorney's Office while on the scene that evening, upon which their office accepted charges of abandoning a child on Ms. Cooper."

EMAIL: lois@desnews.com, Twitter: Loisco

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS